Youth program dismantles barriers to employment

With a 15 per cent increase in people seeking psychological support since March, it has been more important than ever before for community groups to help those in need.

One group, Dismantle, is working to support disengaged, at-risk and vulnerable young people by helping them break down barriers to employment.

Through a trial funded by the Perth South Suicide Prevention Trial and a $2000 grant from Australia Post's Community Grants program, Dismantle's BikeRescue group were able to support Mandurah youth.

Dismantle BikeRescue group participant. Photo: Supplied.

Dismantle BikeRescue group participant. Photo: Supplied.

Dismantle mentor Darren Thomas said the participants restored two bikes each through the program.

"Across ten sessions, two mentors work alongside the young people and they are involved in fully restoring two bikes each.

"The first one is a donation bike and the second one they choose the sort of bike they would like because they get to keep it.

"So that is where their motivation comes from because they are going to be able to put their chain on and hand grips on and take the bike home."

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Mr Thomas said the bike repair workshops created a communication channel between the mentors and participants.

"The bike is really incidental to the process as it's really a communication channel," he said.

"You can start with something they can relate to and its got an end outcome that can provide independence, freedom or just travel opportunities.

"The mentors establish positive reasons to be at school with younger cohorts and with older cohorts its about where do we go from here and supporting them in finding employment."

Dismantle is one of 79 community organisations across the country to receive a 2020 Australia Post Community Grant and one of eight Mandurah programs chosen to be a part of the Perth South Suicide Prevention Trial.